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Lynden responds to crises at home and abroad

Posted on Fri, Oct 01, 2021

The month of August brought temperatures so hot that wells ran dry in Oregon. The month also delivered devastation in Haiti with a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. In typical Lynden fashion, LTI, Inc./Milky Way and Lynden Air Cargo quickly mobilized people and equipment to help.Milky Way Driver Mike Szabo delivers water.

"Like many states, Oregon has been suffering from drought conditions this summer. When I first talked to the Oregon Emergency Management Team about this project in late July, there were 55 dry wells. That quickly increased to 187 and numbers continued to climb," says LTI, Inc. Klamath Falls Operation Manager John Bailey.

The state reached out to LTI, Inc./Milky Way to see if its tankers could haul water, instead of milk, to stranded residents. Oregon's Bootleg Fire was in full swing and water tenders were scarce. John, Regional Manager Greg Tolle and Lynden leaders came up with a viable plan and moved forward to meet the state's needs.

A milk tanker is not set up to pump water, so alterations were needed to make the deliveries. "On day one it took two drivers, one to run the pump and the other to hold the end of the hose so it wouldn't come flying out of the tank," John explains. "On the second day, we built a 2-inch PVC fitting that slips into the tanks making it a one-man job. That worked so well another water hauler copied us."

John says he was surprised at the overwhelming support from residents when they first saw the Milky Way tankers pulling down their streets. "Driving a 6,700-gallon milk tanker on city streets can be challenging. In some instances, we had to ask neighbors if it was ok to back into their driveway to get turned around." Each day, the Oregon State Water Master emails a list of homes needing water to LTI, Inc. and the delivery route is built from that information. The Lynden team will continue serving Oregon residents through October.

A half a world away an earthquake struck Haiti on Aug. 14 leaving thousands dead and many injured. Haiti is still dealing with the fallout from an earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 300,000 people. As it did in 2010, Lynden Air Cargo began flying relief missions immediately.
Haiti earthquake flights - LAC
"Our first three flights were assisting with the movement of a search and rescue team's gear from Washington, D.C. to Port-au-Prince in Haiti," explains Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Charter Manager.

"We have also flown two supply missions from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Port-au-Prince. Authorities that grant landing permits switch from one day to the next which adds to the confusion on the ground, however the Lynden team persevered and operated all flights very close to the originally scheduled date and times."

The two crews flying to Haiti include: Captains Brent Ellender and Chris Nichols, Flight Officers Random Dudley and Guillaume Saget, Flight Engineers John McClellan and Cliff Ayers, Loadmasters Ron Pine and Kevin Boyles, and Mechanics Bill Hamilton and Jim Brookshire.

Tags: LTI Inc., Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Milky Way, Drivers, Truckload, Specialized, Community

Lynden Air Cargo completes first campaign in South Sudan

Posted on Thu, Apr 01, 2021

Blog crop-1South Sudan is the newest country in Africa after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011. Since then it has been plagued by civil wars, ethnic violence and unrest. In 2020 the government and opposition forces signed a peace agreement, but the operating environment remains challenging.

Lynden Air Cargo's aircraft N409LC and crew arrived in Juba, South Sudan, last December to fly supplies to Rubkona Airfield near the town of Bentiu where the United Nations' largest refugee camp is located. It was the first time a Lynden Air Cargo aircraft and crew was based in South Sudan and the first time operating into Rubkona for the World Food Programme. Rubkona has very little infrastructure, so the Lynden plane landed on a dirt airstrip with visual flight rules operations only. Over the next three weeks, the crew averaged two flights per day for a total of 25 relief flights. The last flight was completed in January.

In advance of the crew arriving, Lynden Air Cargo Director of Safety Michelle Fabry and Project Manager Corné Steyn flew to Juba to meet with airport officials, vendors and the representatives supporting the World Food Programme. The threat level remains high in the area, so each flight required a security assessment and release prior to takeoff.

"We had contingency plans in place in the event that conflict erupted with pre-determined locations to divert and relocate as necessary and backup communication devices," Michelle explains. "I was most impressed with the positive attitudes, teamwork, and patience displayed by each crew member, even after multiple delays in getting started, COVID restrictions, and anything else that came up. Our team completed the campaign safely, without incident, damage or injury. We truly appreciate their extraordinary efforts."

Lynden Air Cargo's crew included: Captain Warren Woods, First Officer Isaac Ufford, Flight Engineer Chris Allen, Loadmaster Leo Lopez, Mechanic Milton Beaver, Mechanic Tim Buchholz, and Project Manager Corné Steyn. Some members of the crew are pictured above.

Captain Warren Woods had words of praise for his entire crew. "I'm amazed at the team I was allowed to work with, many sharing their vast local knowledge of Africa," he says. "Leo Lopez is not only a Loadmaster; he is a magician. He gets things done with limited resources, and his dedication to getting the job done safely is very important on campaigns like this. He earned the trust and respect of all the customer handlers, aircraft loaders and security personnel at Rubkona."

According to a member of the World Food Programme Aviation Unit in Rome, "The cooperation was brilliant between the two UN agencies and Lynden Air Cargo. World Food Programme is looking forward to future cooperation, as Lynden has proven once again to be a reliable and professional operator."

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Charters, Project Logistics, Air, Community, International

Lynden’s global humanitarian work grows

Posted on Wed, Sep 23, 2020

Lynden Logistics multimodal capabilitiesLynden Logistics supports humanitarian, relief and health programs in many challenging, underdeveloped corners of the world. As a global freight forwarder, Lynden serves as a logistics partner for customers by simplifying complex logistics requirements during health crises and natural disasters.

In Seattle, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center works with Lynden to help meet its goals of researching and fighting cancer globally, including low- and middle-income countries, as well as supporting COVID research efforts today. Lynden coordinates and ships materials and supplies to Uganda and other destinations to support the Global Oncology group and laboratories within its research group in Uganda.

Fred Hutch is just one customer of many that Lynden Logistics’s Global Health and Humanitarian group is attracting during the COVID crisis. “This part of our business is growing, and we are receiving praise from our customers,” says Lynden Logistics President John Kaloper. “We are proud to be associated with these life-saving medical and research groups, and Fred Hutch is a recognized leader in this field.”

Lynden’s ability to call upon the multimodal capabilities of its sister companies for air, sea or surface transportation allows customers to trim costs, set reliable timetables and budgets and take advantage of knowledgeable, experienced planning resources. “Our experience with global transportation and logistics means that we take on the challenges of this type of coordination so U.S. government agencies like FEMA, USAID, multi-national companies, non-profit organizations, and other businesses can concentrate on assisting those in need,” Kaloper explains.

Lynden’s recent work includes the shipping and warehousing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from China, temperature-controlled shipping of frozen COVID test kits, movement of biological material for use in the search for a Coronavirus vaccine, and handling other fragile and sensitive freight for global customers.

Tags: Freight Forwarding, Disaster Relief, Lynden Logistics, Multi-Modal, Community, International, 3PL

Lynden Air Cargo assists World Food Programme

Posted on Tue, Jan 14, 2020

World Food Program Africa projectThe United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) asked Lynden to fly its L-382 aircraft to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) to assist after violent clashes between two armed groups left many dead and injured. Over a two-week period, Lynden Air Cargo crews made 18 trips to deliver 600,000 pounds of food, shelter and vehicles to 25,000 displaced people in Birao.

"This work was very special as our crews volunteered to go and rallied to get it done while showing compassion for the humanitarian efforts going on in this region," explains Jim Davis, Vice President of Commercial Operations. "We received the initial request from the WFP to fly six trips in the C.A.R. which is a country in Africa that we had yet to operate in. Our aircraft based in Accra, Ghana, was ready to respond to the request." After the six trips, the WFP immediately requested 12 additional flights. This was not the normal cargo Lynden moves, but critical supplies going to a refugee camp so remote that very few aircraft types can operate on the runway.

"We have the best crews in the world, no question. This project gave us all a great sense of pride in what our company does around the world," Jim adds. "To see the hands-on efforts and genuine enthusiasm for the work the crew accomplished was heartwarming."

Most employees stayed well past their scheduled duty days to see the project completed despite weather delays that extended beyond the original departure date. "It truly was a humbling experience volunteering for this work," says Captain Kyle Zerkel.

"This crew embodies the Lynden Everyday Hero spirit in parts of the world we never imagined we would serve when we started the company over two decades ago," Jim says. "Thanks to the following employees for their efforts during this campaign: Aleksey Alekseyev, Bill Kenney, Philip Ansley, Kenny Horwood, Milton Beaver, Leso Tshimologo, Rock Molanga and Kyle Zerkel."

"We could tell that the Lynden Air Cargo pilots and ground staff were driven by the humanitarian cause. They were experienced with the challenging environment and their knowledge of the French language was a big plus in communicating with the local staff. Thank you for the excellent effort," says Sandra Legg, WFP Representative in Bangui, C.A.R.Lynden Air Cargo World Food Program project

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Lynden Employees, Charters, Air, Specialized, Community

Lynden ships equipment to support Guatemalan firefighters

Posted on Tue, Mar 05, 2019

Guatemala firefighters"As I told you when we met, we're probably going to ask a bit more of you than your typical client does, but it will be about things we can do together to help firefighters all over the world," says Deputy Chief Jon Ibrahim of Hearts In Motion and Fire Service International, nonprofits based in Indiana. Lynden Account Executive Ollie Ladd and Ocean Operations Manager Dave McGeath worked with Jon to coordinate the move of a 20-foot container filled with donated firefighting equipment from Hearts In Motion to the San Francisco dock for ocean shipment to Guatemala City. The equipment was bound for some of the world's poorest firefighters in Central America as they combat the aftermath of the eruption of the Fuego Volcano this winter.

Hearts In Motion has been providing firefighting assistance and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Guatemala for 35 years as well as Nicaragua, Ecuador and other parts of Central and South America. Ollie, Dave and the Lynden team pulled the Guatemala move together in just one week, working against last-minute deadlines and changing requirements. "When you consider that these donations were sitting in a warehouse and within a week they were loaded into a container and on the sea, it really speaks to Lynden's capabilities, and how employees bent over backwards to help us out, not just with the logistics, but also the communication and walking us through the process," Jon says. "We are going to have a long-term relationship with Lynden because of the personal touch of everyone involved. When I was there it felt less like a business meeting and more like I was just having lunch with a Chicago buddy."

"It is rewarding to know that we had a hand in sending relief to the people of Guatemala who are struggling with the aftermath of the volcano," Ollie says. "Jon tells us the shipment made a huge difference in the lives of the firefighters in Guatemala and El Salvador who can now do their jobs safely and more effectively."

Tags: Disaster Relief, Lynden Logistics, Ocean, Community, International

Knik Construction put the pieces back together after Alaska quake in November

Posted on Tue, Jan 29, 2019

Knik Road FixA 7.0 magnitude earthquake rattled Anchorage at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 30. Shortly after Alaskans were back to their routine in part due to how quickly Knik Construction mobilized to fix the many roads that collapsed – especially the section of highway that carries traffic from the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage to the Anchorage airport.

Within an hour of the quake, Knik President Dan Hall placed a call to the Alaska Department of Transportation (AKDOT) offering to assist in the repair of eight breaks in essential travel that were deemed highest priority for transportation. "Within two hours of getting the go-ahead to start work on the northbound Minnesota Highway Exit at International Airport Road and a small stretch of road in the Soldotna area, Knik employees were ready to go to work," Dan explains. Just 72 hours after the earthquake and despite 4.0 aftershocks, Knik crews repaired the collapsed highway, paved it, striped it and opened it to the traveling public. "Knik’s ability to react in this timely and professional manner is a testament to the people that we employ. The credit goes to our team that jumped in to help," Dan says.

Paving in the winter isn’t ideal, but if done quickly, heat can be retained in the asphalt mix to allow for proper compaction and to give the surface treatment a chance for long-term success. "Knik crews worked alongside our subcontractor McKenna Brothers in the paving process and completed a very successful project," Dan says.
Earthquake screen shot - we will rebuild!
"As always, Lynden people have responded professionally and proactively and, once again, they make us all proud," says Chairman Jim Jansen. The quick response and excellent repair work drew national attention from CNN, USA Today and AP News and went ‘viral’ online. The before and after pictures became an internet sensation and sparked questions about their authenticity. The story was so unbelievable, that even the online urban legend site Snopes had to fact check it. 

The story was also used as an example of Alaskans’ resilience in the face of Mother Nature and as a blueprint for other states to get highway projects done quickly by working together with multiple agencies.

Lynden offices weathered the 1964 Alaska earthquake and faced the Nov. 30 incident with the same can-do attitude. Jim Jansen shared the following from that day. "The wild ride that morning resulted in most of our employees going home to check on their families and homes. With road closures, parents getting kids from schools and people trying to get home, it was a traffic mess," he says. "By noon the airport was open and most of our people got to their homes and found the damage was cosmetic with fallen ceiling tiles, tables and pictures on the floor and broken glass. Some had water lines leaking and a few gas leaks. By afternoon, Anchorage businesses, including Lynden, began to function and the emotion and fear subsided." The Lynden facilities, including marine facilities in Anchorage, Kenai, Whittier, Cordova and Valdez, all fared well and were structurally operational.

Knik is continuing its AKDOT work into the new year to repair highway road failures in Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula.

Knik Construction received letters and drawings from the kindergarten class of Campbell STEM Elementary in Anchorage for the quick repair of essential roads. Each student wrote a thank you and created construction-related artwork. The notes were presented to Knik as part of the school’s Day of Caring.

Tags: Disaster Relief, Alaska, Knik Construction, Construction

Alaska Governor honors Lynden Air Cargo with North Star Award

Posted on Mon, Feb 05, 2018

Hurricane response - LAC with sandbags on tarmac.jpgLynden Air Cargo received the Governor’s North Star Award for its long history of assisting in humanitarian relief and environmental disasters worldwide. The 2017 North Star Awards were announced this week by Gov. Bill Walker in Juneau. Lynden Air Cargo was recognized in the Transportation and Humanitarian Exchange categories and was one of only four companies to receive the honor. For more than 30 years, the Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence have recognized Alaskan companies and organizations engaged in successful international business and activities.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award which we share with our employees and the Lynden family of companies,” said Rick Zerkel, Lynden Air Cargo President. “All of our employees – in the air and on the ground – pride themselves on providing safe and reliable service while opening new international markets and opportunities to Alaska. We are also proud of our service in assisting victims of natural disasters and our environmental cleanup response. Wherever Lynden Air Cargo flies, it proudly represents Lynden, but also its home state of Alaska.”
 
Lynden pioneered service to Alaska in 1954 and today serves customers in every sector of the Alaska economy, including energy, mining, seafood, retail, military and government. Lynden Air Cargo’s fleet of L-382 Hercules aircraft transport everything from groceries to cars within Alaska through weekly scheduled flights and oversized cargo worldwide through charter flights. Its Hercules aircraft have responded to fires, earthquakes in Haiti, supported a peacekeeping mission in the African Congo and, most recently, mobilized relief flights to help those affected by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria in the Caribbean. Flight crews worked in situations where there was little information about airport conditions and contaminated fuel supplies.

“Since 1986, these awards have honored Alaskan companies that engage in successful international business and activities, and this year’s honorees should be proud of the role they play in connecting our state to the rest of the world,” said Governor Walker. “This diverse group of organizations is emblematic of the spirit of the North Star Awards.”

The 2017 North Star honorees include:  
•    Chena Hot Springs Resort (Tourism)
•    Hecla Greens Creek Mine (Trade, Export of Goods)
•    Lynden Air Cargo (Transportation, Humanitarian Exchange)
•    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Alaska (Trade, Import of Goods and People)

Tags: Awards, Lynden Air Cargo, Green Lynden, Disaster Relief

Lynden Air Cargo answers the call for emergency aid

Posted on Tue, Oct 24, 2017

Hurricane response - LAC with sandbags on tarmac.jpgLynden Air Cargo answered the call on Sept. 8 to mobilize relief flights for Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria. "We began flights into the Caribbean on Sept. 17 once there was a clear identification of needs," explains Rick Zerkel, Lynden Air Cargo President. Lynden is currently under contract with Diplomat Freight Services (DFS) to provide continued air support for sites in the Caribbean.

"Logistics have been a challenge as there has been limited information on which airports are open and have uncontaminated fuel supplies," Rick says. "Some of the islands have completely lost power. Hotels have also been hard to find in some of these locations because they are still being used as shelters for families who cannot go back to their homes or sustained damage during the storms. We have also had to pause flying when Hurricanes Maria and Juan hit the Caribbean a second and third time – on occasion flying around the storms to get to any locations we could."

Lynden Air Cargo has been conducting flights through DFS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross and other supporting agencies and governments to bring in food, water, trucks, fuel and other disaster response supplies. "We anticipate we will be flying continuously for quite some time – there is no indication that it will be slowing down any time soon," Rick says.

As of late September, Lynden aircraft have flown to the following locations based out of Curacao, Aruba and Miami: St. Martin, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, St. Croix, Grand Turk Island and Providenciales Island (a part of the Caicos Islands). The company is especially grateful to their flight crew and flight operations staff who have performed admirably while working under constantly changing conditions with limited information.

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, United States, Charters, Air, Specialized

Lynden Air Cargo fights fires for U.S. Forest Service

Posted on Wed, Jul 27, 2016

Herc_fighting_fires_2016.jpgLynden Air Cargo is operating its L-382 aircraft on behalf of the Coulson group of companies to fight fires for the U.S. Forest Service this summer. As a sub-contractor, Lynden is providing a crew and aircraft from June 5 through Sept. 1.
 
“As of mid-June, we have flown 49 sorties and 62 drops everywhere from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the Mexico border,” says Lynden Air Cargo President Rick Zerkel. “We have dispersed a total of 189,705 gallons of retardant on various fires in New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California.”
 
Lynden fought the Reservoir and San Gabriel wildfires near Los Angeles in June, helping to contain both, as well as others throughout the southwestern states. In September, the L-382 will return to Australia where it will continue fighting fires there. “We are proud to be helping in this effort and proud of our Lynden flight and maintenance crew on the front lines.” Rick says.

Tags: Lynden, Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Charters, Air

Lynden Air Cargo flies aid to Vanuatu after cyclone devastates islands

Posted on Thu, Mar 26, 2015

Lynden Air Cargo HerculesLynden Air Cargo’s L-100 Hercules aircraft is being put to use flying relief supplies to Vanuatu after Tropical Cyclone Pam devastated the South Pacific Islands March 13. Communications company Digicel Fiji chartered a Lynden Air Cargo plane from Nadi, Fiji, to the capital city of Port Vila within days of the cyclone. It was loaded with food rations and technical equipment to repair towers and networks to restore communications throughout the islands. Now working with the World Food Programme (WFP), Lynden continues to pick up more supplies from Brisbane, Australia, for air delivery to Port Vila in support of humanitarian efforts.

“We are coordinating flights as quickly as possible in cooperation with government authorities,” says Rick Zerkel, Lynden Air Cargo President. “With 65,000 people left homeless from Cyclone Pam, there is an urgent need for relief supplies. We are committed to helping in any way we can for as long as our services are needed.”

Lynden Air Cargo Disaster ReliefLynden operates a fleet of six Hercules around the world specializing in remote site services and requiring minimal equipment for loading and offloading. The unique features of the aircraft make it ideal for flying aid into isolated disaster areas. Lynden Air Cargo has provided disaster relief assistance at some of the world's worst disasters, including the Haiti earthquake in 2011 and the Indonesian earthquake and Samoan tsunami in 2009. Working with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the Red Cross and the U.S. Military, Lynden has delivered emergency vehicles, portable hospitals, food, water and relief workers to ravaged areas across the globe.

Lynden Air Cargo is one of the Lynden family of companies, whose combined capabilities include shipping to Alaska, truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, barge service to Hawaii and Alaska, charter barges, worldwide air and ocean forwarding, third-party logistics, trade show shipping, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled and chartered Hercules L-382 cargo aircraft and multi-modal logistics. Lynden companies are repeat winners in the annual Quest for Quality awards presented by Logistics Management magazine.

 

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Charters, Air, Specialized, Community, International